Abaco Systems today announced that the company’s FORCE2 flight computer had been chosen by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) to be at the heart of GA-ASI’s Certifiable Ground Control Station (CGCS). The CGCS was recently used to control the complete flight of an MQ-9B SkyGuardian – including take-off and landing.
This was the first time the CGCS has been used to control an entire end-to-end flight of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), and was an important step in achieving GA-ASI’s goal of the SkyGuardian being the first certifiable RPA certified to fly in national and international airspace.
The CGCS architecture provides separation between flight and mission critical functions. Flight critical functions are performed using a combination of off-the-shelf avionics, Abaco’s FORCE2, and hardware developed by GA-ASI that are controlled by GA-ASI’s certifiable DAL B software. The mission critical functions are separated and run alongside GA-ASI’s proven Advanced Cockpit payload and weapons equipment.
“We’re delighted to be involved in this program with GA-ASI,” said John Muller, Chief Growth Officer, Abaco Systems. “Achieving certification is a major challenge for many of our customers, not least because of the cost, time and risk involved. By making available the artifacts necessary for certification of the FORCE2 – as opposed to our customers undertaking the necessary work in-house – we can make a substantial contribution to reducing all three. The FORCE2 is a compelling, highly viable alternative to the in-house development of certifiable solutions.”
The FORCE2 Open Reference Computing Environment is designed to support the planned development of safety-critical, DO-254/DO-178 certifiable applications compliant with the FACE™ initiative.
A rugged, pre-integrated small form factor system for mission computing, the FORCE2 comprises a high TRL (technology readiness level) SBC314 3U VPX single board computer and avionics communications card housed in a robust enclosure to deliver unprecedented levels of performance in demanding flight applications.
The FORCE2 will be supported by DO-254 artifacts suitable for use in systems requiring Design Assurance Level (DAL) A, the highest level of assurance.